Big three top takeovers table

THE BIG three City law firms are still at the top of the league for takeover advice work, but challengers are threatening to overhaul them.

Acquisitions Monthly magazine's latest league table on takeover advisory work places Linklaters & Paines, Slaughter and May and Freshfields in the first three slots.

But editor Philip Healey said the supremacy of the three firms could soon come under threat from new pretenders.

“Although our latest league table highlights the usual firms in the top spots, other less well known names are demonstrating their ambition to take them on,” he said.

Lovell White Durrant is the rapid riser, up from 19th place in the 1993 table to fourth in the first half of 1996 with deals totalling £5.4 billion, including work on the hostile Granada takeover of Forte.

Linklaters & Paines jumped from third place in 1995 to first with 10 deals totalling over £13 billion; Slaughter and May remained second with 13 deals making £11 billion; and Freshfields went from first to third with eight deals together worth over £6 billion.

Acquisitions Monthly also named Ashurst Morris Crisp, Macfarlanes and Denton Hall among firms making significant progress up the table.